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Weekend Reads 10/24/20

Biden’s court ‘punt’ gets lukewarm response

The former vice president’s proposal to create a 180-day commission falls far short of the left’s dreams of adding seats to the Supreme Court. And Republicans continued alleging that Biden will pack the court and is just being disingenuous about his real intentions.

The Issues That Divide People Within Each Party

These issues are likely to come to the foreground after the election is over. If Republicans lose races for the presidency, U.S. Senate and some state legislatures1 — as seems likely right now — there will be a debate within the GOP about how to get back in power. Meanwhile, newly empowered Democrats would have to figure out which policies they want to advance first.

Make America Green Again

If a couple of intrepid aliens dropped by to observe a Congressional hearing on climate change, knowing that humanity’s survival hinged on finding a solution to rising temperatures, they would hurry back to their home planet under the impression that Earth was doomed.

It doesn’t have to be this way. That green dream could be a reality — and for the most part, we know what we need to do to bring it to life.

NASA reaches out and touches an asteroid 320 million kilometers away

The spacecraft's performance at the asteroid Bennu, which is only about as wide as the Empire State Building is tall, was remarkable. Because the asteroid is so small, its gravity is negligible, which complicates orbital maneuvering by the spacecraft around what is, essentially, a rubble pile.

Despite these challenges, at a distance of 320 million kilometers on Tuesday, NASA engineers and scientists programmed a spacecraft to autonomously touch down within a single meter of its target area.

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